Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. (Mark 6:1-6)
Rejected In His Own Country
Everyone has a home town where they were born and raised. Many are born in one town but live in many other places. Some are able to grow up in one community establishing lives centered around people who know them all their lives. This was true of Jesus. Born in Bethlehem of Judea, Jesus was taken to Egypt around the age of two years as his parents fled the wrath of Herod the Great who sought to kill the young child’s life. He would stay in this foreign land until Herod died and then be taken to Nazareth in Galilee where He would be the older sibling of four brothers and a few sisters. He would learn the trade of his earthly father in the carpenters shop. Nazareth was a town known for its craftsmen. Jesus would learn the lessons of life in the small town sixty miles north of Jerusalem. He would infuse his life in the community of bakers, farmers, tradesmen and community leaders who saw Him for what He was – an ordinary young man very polite, well ordered and deeply devoted to serving God. There was nothing that stood out about the eldest son of Joseph and Mary with the exception that He was never seen as a trouble maker, disobedient to parents or anything that could be construed as our of order in His life. For thirty years Jesus lived among the people of Nazareth doing what all the other citizens of Israel would do. The carpenter’s son was a good man in the community and that was about all there was to say about that. That would change one day when after some time away the son of Joseph and Mary returned as a teacher with a multitude of disciples.
Jesus had left Nazareth at the age of thirty and began preaching to the multitudes in Judea and in Jerusalem. It was not long before He returned to Galilee but His first reception was not received well. He angered some so much they tried to kill Him but He passed through the midst of them and went His way. Returning a second time the reception was still unfavorable. When the Sabbath came, Jesus began teaching in the synagogue and the people were astonished at His teaching. Not only were they struck by His message, they were confused on how this common man, who was the son of a carpenter, could know so much and explain matters of faith with such clarity. And it was hard for them to grasp the power of His miracles that He performed before them. All they could see was the nice young man who grew up in their town and now He is a vibrant teacher with multitudes following Him and He had the power to do such mighty works – but he is the son of Joseph. How could this be? Instead of seeing the power of His words and the testimony of His power, the people were offended by Him. The Greek word used in the text is where the English word ‘scandal’ comes from. They were shocked this home town kid had the arrogance to heal people and teach powerful sermons. Refusing to acknowledge the brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon as anything but common, Jesus was unable to do mighty works among the people.
It is incredible to consider that Jesus would be made to marvel but when He realized He could do no more with His own people, He went about the villages in a circuit teaching and showing His power to those who would receive Him. There had to be disappointment in the heart of the Son of God when He taught the people He grew up and they rejected Him. How sad they could only see the little boy that worked in his father’s shop and not the man who was working in the kingdom of His heavenly Father. He would not return to Nazareth again. Their final rejection was their last opportunity. The people of Galilee are like so many today who refuse to see Jesus of Nazareth as anything more than a good man teaching good things. God has revealed His Son in the testimony of the Bible and with a myriad of examples of His divine power demonstrates He is the only begotten Son of God. Each one of the gospels declares the life of Christ as the divine One. From the pages of the Old Testament come the promised redemption of the Savior fulfilled in the epistles and books of the New Testament. There is no greater testimony to the identity of Jesus as the Christ but like those of old people are offended by Jesus and do not believe. A day is coming when there will be no more opportunities and like the people of Nazareth all men will come to know the carpenter’s son was truly the Son of God. Then it will be too late. Jesus will no longer be the man on the pages of a worn book called the Bible – He will be the Judge of eternity with the pristine book of life held in His hand. Do you believe in Jesus the son of God?